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Angels outfielder Chris Pettit to undergo shoulder surgery and is out for year

March 9, 2010 |  9:06 am

Chris Pettit's hopes of winning a reserve outfield spot this spring were dashed Tuesday when the 25-year-old from San Dimas decided to undergo surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn labrum, a procedure that will sideline him for the entire 2010 season.

Pettit, who hit .321 for triple-A Salt Lake last season and appeared in 10 games for the Angels, suffered the injury after leaping over the catcher to avoid a tag and diving back to the plate in a winter-league game in the Dominican Republic.

He rehabilitated the shoulder for four months and had a cortisone injection two weeks ago, but after feeling considerable discomfort when he tried to throw, he opted to have surgery. Recovery time is six to nine months.

"It was a tough decision -- the shoulder felt real strong, but it just wasn't responding when I tried to throw," Pettit said. "That's been the struggle."

The timing couldn't have been worse: With Gary Matthews Jr. traded to the New York Mets, Pettit had a legitimate shot of making the team this spring. But he has kept a good attitude about his situation.

"I don't feel like it's a lost opportunity," Pettit said. "I can work my way back and provide another opportunity for myself."

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Tempe, Ariz.

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